The Empire Strikes Back

Words and Photography by Andy Carter

Sequels aren’t supposed to be good.  They almost always come off as a half-hearted attempt to recapture the look, the energy, and the magic of the original film.  The Empire Strikes Back isn’t like that.  George Lucas’ follow-up to Star Wars was not only better, it was darker.  It gave America a reason to fall in love with the Dark Side.

Not only is this Joe’s second RSX, it’s his second bronze-wheeled, JDM-inspired, black RSX.  But oh, is this one better.   The exterior has been completely reworked into a Mugen adorned Type-R Integra: Mugen spoilers all around, Type-R lights, badges, visors, Benen tow hooks, and Top One front splitters.  And these aren’t Mugen-style replicas, everything is off-the-boat authentic.  All of the pieces have been covered in Honda’s own Nighthawk Black Pearl, giving the Acura a dark, sinister, Vader-esque aesthetic.  The car has found its stance courtesy of Tanabe Sustec coilovers and a set of concave 18×9.5 (+30) Work Emotion XT7’s wrapped in Toyo 225/40/18 rubber.  All things considered, this RSX creates a perfect marriage of the JDM and Stance styles.

Not wanting to be remembered a show queen, Joe has made sure to address each of the car’s areas of performance.  The motors breathes easier thanks to the ever-popular Password JDM intake, a Buddy Club race header, and JDM-spec Apexi Exhaust.  The chassis has been stiffened thanks to various Cusco, Carbing, D2, and OEM Type-R pieces.  Brembo rotors and steel braided lines insure that the RSX stops when the need arises.

The interior is a JDM flawless victory.  Everything is Type-R spec: front and rear seats, carpet, floor mats, pedals, console, knob…everything.

Some would have applauded Joe’s move to an Evolution after his first RSX, happy that he broadened his horizons beyond Honda’s firm grasp on the import scene.  But it is wise to not underestimate the power of the Dark Side.   Joe returned to the Honda world, striking back with this perfectly executed, well-rounded RSX.  Chalk another point up for The Empire.


Authentic Mugen front

Authentic Mugen sides

Authentic Mugen rear

Jdm Type r Brake Ducts

Top One Splitters

Mugen Hood

Jdm Type r side marker lights

Benen Front Tow Hook

Benen rear towhook

Jdm Type r spoiler

Jdm Type r Tail lights (rare)

Jdm Type r Window Visors

Jdm Type r Badges, and side stickers


Jdm type r carpet (red)

Jdm Type r Floor Mats (Red)

Jdm Type r Door Panels (red)

Jdm Type r Recaro Seats (red)

Jdm Type r Pedal Assembly

Jdm Type r Center Console

Jdm Type r rear Seats

Jdm Type r Steering Wheel

Jdm Type r Door Sills



Tanabe Sustec Pro Coilovers

Cusco Front Strut tower bar

Cusco Rear Strut bar

Carbing Lower Tie Bar

Jdm Type r Lower Control Arms

D2 rear lower control arms

Brembo Front And Rear Drilled Slotted Rotors And Steel Braided Lines


Work Emotion XT7 18×9.5 (Concave) +30

Toyo Hp Extensa 225/40/18 Tires

Project kics Neo Chro Lug Nuts


Jdm Type r Valve cover

Carbon fiber intake and spark plug cover

Ingalls Torque Dampner

Hondata Kpro

Rc Injectors

Golden Eagle fuel rail

Buddy Club Race Header

Password Jdm Carbon Intake (battery relocated to the trunk)

Walboro 255 fuel pump

Jdm Spec Apexi Exhaust

Buddy club Short Shifter